Postcolonial Hybrids in The Lowland

Seyedeh Zahra Ghoreishi, Zahra Bordbari


This paper delves into Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2013 novel, The Lowland, to analyze the diasporic experience of the Indian-born characters. Homi Bhabha’s postcolonial approach is utilized to demonstrate the ways in which the characters perceive the immigration experience, and to unravel the causes of their despair, the disintegration of their family, and the underlying reasons behind the decisions that they make to compensate for their marginal status in the adopted land. It is attempted to shed light on the characters’ insecurities and mental challenges brought forth by their ‘liminal’ condition, in which they find themselves caught in a dilemma between the Indian lifestyle on the one hand, and the American dominant culture, on the other. Furthermore, ‘hybridity’ is discussed, which entails the characters’ partial adoption of the foreign culture that gives birth to mixed identities in the ‘third space.’ This research concludes that in spite of the disturbing aspects of diasporic life including uncertainty, marginality, and unbelonging over which the characters possess no control, they are capable of surviving and even flourishing in the foreign social milieu.

Keywords: Adopted Land; Diaspora; Liminality; Hybridity; Third Space

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